Novel Metal Shaping Process Using Non-Toxic Working Fluids
This SBIR proposal addresses worker and environmental safety concerns regarding the use of toxic cutting fluids in metal shaping operations. The toxicity of cutting fluids cn be caused by either the constituents fo the cutting fluid chemistyr or in the case of water-soluble emulsions, the toxicity can be caused by biocides intended to control baterial growth. This proposal seeks to adapt an advenced electrochemical edge and surface finishing technology to provide a robust, cost effective, high volume metal removal process that does not require toxic chemicals. It addresses the common challenges associated with electrochemical processing, namely dimensional control and surface finish, by applying a user-defined, pulsed electric field to control the metal dissolution patterns as opposed to relying on chemical means. Furthermore, the electrolytes employed in this process do not foster bacterial growth and thereby eliminated the need for toxic biocides. In addition to eliminating the need to toxic cutting fluids, the proposed technology will provide the following advantages over conventional machining processes: (1) can machine comples geometries in a single pass, (2) can provide excellent surface finished, and (3) results in a burr free an stress free surface. To complete the life cycle assessment of the process, the metal waste can be removed from the electrolyte using both physical and electrochemical means, providing an enriched material for reuse programs. The effluent from this filtration step is introduced back into the circulation loop. The anticipated results of the Phase I and II efforts are (1) the development and commercialization of an electrochemical technology that can machine metals, such as carbon steel, in the presence of non-toxic electrolytes, (2) the development of an electrolyte managemetn strategy, and (3) the development of a metal reclamation strategy. The proposed electrochemical technology will be applicable to a wide range of etals for the automotive, military and commercial aircraft, and general industries. The advantages of this technology will be most prominent in components that have complex geometry and/or require excellent surface finishes.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Faraday Technology, Inc.
315 Huls Dr. Clayton, OH 45315
Number of Employees: